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Topic: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

  1. #1

    OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    Poorly Projected Pictures recently competed in the 2007 48 Hour Film Project among 55 entries in Portland, OR. We made it to the finals and won Best Musical Score.

    Our Genre: Musical or Western (We chose Musical)
    Character: Ray or Rachel Schwarz, Quality Control Expert
    Line of Dialog: "Do you smell what I smell?"
    Prop: Balloon

    You can view Heart Break Break In here: http://colonelcrush.com/movie/index/00240001

    Our singers rocked! The only vocal processing is some overall EQ (I went one way on the voices and another on the music to help keep them from mushing together), and the multi-band compression and limiting of the final master. (My apologies for the MP3 coding. It's terrible on this for some reason.) The first recordings I did were too hot - I used a new mic and an unfamiliar process for tracking. I wasn't prepared for how loud the singers could belt it out. (Including my daughter, who plays Jenine.)

    Doing a 48-hour film is bad enough. Doing a 48-hour musical is murder. Usually, the composer sleeps until Sunday, then starts work on the overnight edits. For this musical, I was writing, composing, making temp tracks, and recording vocals. We put the music on an iPod/boom box for lip sync'ing. They didn't start filming until Saturday night.

    I woke at 4am Sunday, and composed the one straight-through song. (The opening scene.) The other pieces were snippets connected by dialog and various video.) My first locked scene came in at noon Sunday. We had to drive to Portland at 6:30 pm. I composed until about 5:30 pm and mixed like a dog. (the final scene wasn't even shot until 2:30 pm.) The version on the website has a more even mix (but a crummy mp3) compared to the delivered version.

    Anyway, it was an exciting experience, and was the second year that we participated. If you haven't scored a 48-hour film, you haven't lived!

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    AWESOME WORK JON!! Congratulations to you and your entire crew for pulling that off.

    It has really great lyrics and a terrific score! No wonder it won. The whole thing was a blast to watch! Nice ending too


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    Congratulations Jon!

    What an exciting experience! I hope many more successes follow.

    All the best,

    Gary Garritan

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    Thanks Reegs and Gary!

    Ern, sure, you can introduce your nephew to my daughter, but is he bad enough for her?

    And back off guys, she's still just 17!

    Funny you mention Les Mis. In his senior year, Matt (Tea Cup) played Thenadier. Melissa (Jenine) was in the chorus, playing a worker, support at the barricade, and, ahem, a prostitute. Marissa (Belle) played Cosette. Jeremy and Jason (the burglars) were students and fighters at the barricades. Nathan (my son, behind the camera) played Enjolras. We had three other Les Mis actors available, including Valjean, but they didn't get roles.

    Oh, and Marissa will soon start her third year at NYU studying musical theater. She wrote her lines and melodies for the Rachel Schwarz scene. That was the most fun to arrange. With melodies alone it was a simple I IV V kind of thing. By mixing in some ii and vi chords and some inversions, it totally changed the character of the song. Once together, I can no longer hear it as a I IV V song. It feels like it was initially written for the final chords, but the truth is that I spent a good amount of time hunting for the right harmonic sequence.

    And kudos to Peter Alexander's Harmony book, vol 1. Studying that text a couple of years ago really helped me put that arrangement together in the limited time that I had. I should really get vol 2...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA

    Re: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    Congrats Jon ... and to the whole team also!

    Good work.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    HA! HA! That was fun. You guys improve real fast.


  7. #7

    Re: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    Thanks Steve and Geronimo,

    The weekend was stressful and sleepless, but now we can't wait for next year's competition!

    BTW, next week we will release Us and Them, our 2006 entry. It's a serious piece about the McCarthy red scare (genre: Historical Fiction).

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    Way to go Jon!
    Westgate Studios
    Sound Libraries for Gigastudio and Kontakt

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    Quote Originally Posted by timzydee
    Way to go Jon!
    Tim, you should recognize the Westgate Modular flute, clarinet, bassoon and solo horn in the scenes that featured our young women. I would have used the oboe too, except I was thin on RAM.

    I skipped the woodwinds on the bigger sounds to make room for brass, strings and percussion (plus I was out of time); hence, my 64-bit Nirvana thread... I would have liked to be able to use the legato winds throughout!

    Then again, there are some solo piano parts that I really wish I had time to replace. The final scene uses the temp track that I put together with click as a reference for the singers. I had no intention of having that leave the studio naked!

    Anyway, the Modular Series sounded great just laying them in live. They were a great tool when time was tight!

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Best Musical Score - 48 Hour Film Project, Portland

    FRESHLY RELEASED on ColonelCrush.com...

    "Us and Them", our 2006 48-hour Portland entry.

    We made the finals with this serious drama.

    Line: "Oh no, don't you dare go there."


    For the score I went minimal. The central theme is a low-C on the piano with a bass drum hit. It's especially effective when it returns at the end of the film.

    BTW, this also includes a Westgate Modular instrument: the oboe. Westgate's first download had just come out a week or so before...

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